31. Christine de Pizan. She was French courtier in the 14th and early 15th century. She was the daughter of a Humanist, who taught her how to read and write. After the death of her husband, she wrote to support herself and her children. Her writing was resolutely prolific. She wrote several books of poetry and ballads, but also of philosophy, politics and ethics. One of her most famous books, La Cité des Dames (The City of Ladies) and Le Livre des Trois Vertus (The Book of the Three Virtues) are, respectively, a book defending women’s rights as equal and valuable members of society, and their right to education in particular, and a manual for the instruction and education of women of all classes.
She is widely considered to be the first woman to have lived off of her writing in the French language; she was a badass feminist in the 1300s; she was a widely respected intellectual in an era where that was not something women were allowed to do. Honestly, it’s a tragedy she’s not more well-known.
32. Frances Kelsey. A doctor who prevented the U.S. from selling a drug called thalidomide. Pregnant women in Germany took it to ease morning sickness because they thought that it wouldn’t affect their unborn child. But after many tests conducted by Frances and a bunch of deformed children from the pregnant women who took thalidomide, Frances was able to convince the U.S. from selling the drug.
She is TRULY the best